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Being a Victim

Some folks take on a "victim personality" and they express themselves as a victim in every situation. It is true that many of us are survivors of abuse.

In Dr. Aphrodite Matsakis' book "I Can't Get Over It, A Handbook for Trauma Survivors," she discusses that full recovery means giving up our role as a survivor. She believes that we can move past that and become our true authentic self.

She says in her book "...Even though you are no longer in the original trauma situation, you think and act as if you are still being victimized." 

She also quotes Dr. Barry McCarthy saying "The third level of victimization involves the person adopting a lifelong label as a victim."

It is very important when we are able to, to move past seeing ourself as a victim. As long as we continue to believe that we are a victim, we unconsciously set ourselves up to be victimized over and over again. If this is a problem in your life, you may consider seeing a therapist to assist you.

I have a neighbor continues to stay in a victim environment and does not make any decisions to get out of that situation and take control of her life. Her husband is emotionally, verbally and sometimes physically abusive. She spends her life complaining about her "poor life" and how depressed and stressed she is and for her, this life appears comfortable to her. She is not familiar or comfortable taking on a new role in her life. However at any time in her life, she can choose a different life and learn how to do this.

What might be holding her back from leaving her current abusive situation? Maybe lots of things. Fear; not feeling she is "good enough" for a better life; low self-esteem; fear of the unknown; fear that she wouldn't make it alone. If she has never lived a health lifestyle, it's like playing Monopoly. How can she play if she doesn't know the rules?

Dr. Matsakis does discuss in her book how to discard victim thinking and provides exercises in the book.

It is important to realize that victim thinking is toxic for you and not healthy and to move forward in your life, you need to identify this pattern in your life and learn how to rid yourself of it.

Remember along the way that this is probably a normal response to a traumatic situation in which you were truly victimized.

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